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2019 Murphy Diversity in Labor Scholarship Gala (5/23)

Photo features Diversity Scholarship recipients from 2017 plus staff.

In 2012 the Murphy Institute launched a scholarship program designed to promote diversity in union leadership and labor education.  The Joseph S. Murphy Diversity in Labor Scholarship program awards two-year scholarships of up to $30,000 for graduate students and up to $20,000 for undergraduate students. The scholarship is available to students applying to the M.A. in Labor Studies program, or the B.A. in Urban and Community Studies program with a concentration in labor studies.

This year, for the first time, the Diversity Scholarship is being celebrated as a signature program of the new CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. The 2019 fundraiser and awards gala will take place on Thursday, May 23rd from 5:30-7:30 PM at the School.  Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, will be the guest speaker.  The event will also feature the announcement of the 2019 Rising Leaders and the recipients of the 2019-20 scholarship awards.

Your support for the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies is greatly appreciated.

Notes on Our Economy

After last month’s economic democracy conference at SLU, new ideas and conversations are bubbling up in New York City and beyond. How can we implement some of our best ideas about democratizing our workplaces and our economy?

One attendee, Evelyn Wright of Commonwealth Hudson Valley, wrote a blog post outlining her work and ideas and summarizing some of the conversations that the day generated

Last Friday I went into the city for a daylong conference on Economic Democracy and System Change at CUNY’s School of Labor and Urban Studies. Deputy Mayor Philip Thompson opened the day with a talk about why we need economic democracy, how economic democracy differs from the socialism and social democracy of the twentieth century, and what the city is doing to promote it. Continue reading Notes on Our Economy

New Labor Forum Highlights: April 29th, 2019

The New Labor Forum has a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

According to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of U.S. workers involved in work stoppages in 2018 was at a three-decade high. Not since 1986 had as many workers taken up the most potent tool in labor’s arsenal: the strike weapon. The recent, victorious strike by Stop & Shop workers in New England – achieving wage increases and halting the company’s roll back of health benefits − continues this trend, indicative of heightened solidarity and militancy among workers. This labor fight back may be part of the burgeoning national resistance of all kinds to political and economic elites. It’s likely to have taken some inspiration from the heroic red state teachers’ strikes last year. It may also be an outgrowth of a low unemployment rate emboldening workers to demand more from employers. Whatever the cause, labor seems increasingly prepared to dust off the nearly defunct strike weapon, which New Labor Forum author, Joe Burns, has argued is a sine qua non for rebuilding worker power.

Table of Contents

  1. STRIKE! Why Mothballing Labor’s Key Weapon is Wrong/ Joe Burns, New Labor Forum
  2. Another Big Victory for Labor/ Lauren Kaori Gurley, The New Republic
  3. Major Work Stoppages in 2018/Bureau of Labor Statistics

Photo by Revise_D via flickr (cc-by-sa)

Video: Our Economy Conference

By all accounts, “Our Economy!”—the first-ever faculty conference of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies—was an overwhelming success! More than 300 individuals attended, representing over 100 institutions and organizations. That number included dozens of SLU staff, faculty, and students. More than 50 speakers and presenters participated on 18 panels. And … an additional 500+ people viewed the livestream event on Facebook! Many connections and relationships created, fostered or were strengthened by this collaborative event.

Hungry for more Economic Democracy? Visit the OUR ECONOMY Dropbox to access papers and Powerpoint presentations submitted by conference speakers. Also, visit the Youtube channel of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies to view slideshows and videos from the conference.

And in case you missed the amazing closing performance by the “Resistance Revival Chorus?” or just want to relive the magic, check it out here!

The 8th Annual Workers Unite Film Festival (5/10-5/23)

The Workers Unite Film Festival is a celebration of Global Labor Solidarity.

The Festival aims to showcase student and professional films from the United States and around the world which publicize and highlight the struggles, successes and daily lives of all workers in their efforts to unite and organize for better living conditions and social justice.

The 8th season of the Workers Unite Film Festival is poised to be the biggest and best yet, with more attendees, more venues, more creative energy and many more submissions. With over 30 programs throughout NYC and over 60 films and events, #WUFF has grown to be one of the largest worker/labor dedicated cultural events in the country.

Check out the full schedule here.

New Labor Forum: April 15th, 2019

The New Labor Forum has a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below. 

The gaping income and wealth inequality, increasing constrictions on democratic rights, and perilous ecological unsustainability that are the features of the contemporary U.S. political economy have given rise to a host of theoretical and practical efforts to imagine another way. These efforts were the focus of an important national conference “Our Economy! Economic Democracy and System Change” held on April 12th at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, publisher of New Labor Forum. How can we transform our economy into a more just and ecologically sustainable system? What current practices and historic precedents offer lessons toward the creation of a participatory democracy? This newsletter provides a video clip of a rousing speech by conference keynote, J. Phillip Thompson, NYC Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. In his remarks, Thompson discusses the legacy of organized labor’s tragic failure to build a multi-racial working-class movement for economic democracy. On this theme, we also include a New Labor Forumarticle by Brandon Terry and Jason Lee, who examine current tendencies among the leadership of black social justice organizations and unions that hinder the possibility for this sort of broader movement. We end with a poem by Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Gregory Pardlo, who writes with poignant grace of his childhood as the son of an African American union leader in the cataclysmic PATCO strike of 1981.

Table of Contents

  1. The Origins and Relevance of the Struggle for Economic Democracy in the U.S./ J. Phillip Thompson, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
  2. Rethinking the Problem of Alliance: Organized Labor and Black Political Life/ Brandon M. Terry and Jason Lee, New Labor Forum
  3. Winter After the Strike/ Gregory Pardlo, Digest

Photo by Neil Hinchley via flickr (cc-nc-nd)